Sure, hang glider pilots sometimes do stupid things, but as a group they tend not to exhibit a need to perform short, fast flights near to dangerous objects. For that, you need a different mindset. The disproportionate injury rate between hang gliding and paragliding is not just a function of greater numbers of paragliders but a function of more choices made for risk exposure within the PDMC. Many paragliding daredevils never experience the joy of soaring, choosing instead the adrenaline high that comes from escaping a near death experience. Or not. VIDEO: https://player.vimeo.com/video/124325510
The fact that the USHGA welcomed in paragliding illustrates how bankrupt the organization has become. Parachuting has a different mindset. Its inclusion in the USHGA caused the organization to morph, reducing its utility and purpose in regard to hang gliding -- and apparently crippling its effectiveness in emphasizing safety training.
I have pointed out many times that while paragliders frequently and unexpectedly kill their operators, hang glider pilots are usually presented with the opportunity to kill themselves only through pilot error. Pilot error can be reduced with training and safety consciousness, but there is no fix for the deadly soaring parachutes. Despite what you hear from the USHPA and its diehard* contingent of PDMC daredevils, "active piloting" is malarkey, akin to a hang glider pilot saying he will put his hands back on the control bar. Since hang glider pilots are always "actively piloting," you don't hear them talking about it. *no pun intended... or was it?
Hang gliders have air frames. They don't lose their airfoil in turbulence. This is not the case with paragliders. The same bit of turbulence that can bring on fear of collapse by a PDMC daredevil is met with enthusiasm by the hang glider pilot because he knows it is a sign that lift is nearby.
Another problem with paragliders comes by way of their slow speed. Many PDMC daredevils die because they weren't moving fast enough for their reserve to deploy in an emergency. The supposed aircraft suddenly turns into a piece of garbage in the air and the helpless falling human throws his reserve. But the insane behavior of the collapsed parachute often prevents the speed from building up to the point where the reserve will snap open.
PDMC daredevils would have you believe that the video above is typical. Don't believe it. There is a reason you don't see PDMC daredevils hitting the ground on YouTube. When such a video is posted - and believe me, there are a lot of them - these fascist nitwits run to Google like a bunch of whining babies crying, "Extreme violence!" and get it removed. That was exactly what happened when I posted the crash of Jody from the 2002 PG Nats. So people are left with the misperception that "paragliding is safe" and "collapse is a safety feature," a ridiculous assertion parroted by the PDMC daredevils. People don't get to see the other side. The dark side of paragliding. This manipulation of the truth has helped lead to the darkest year in the sport's history. 2015. More than 120 deaths worldwide on paragliders. Didn't know that, did you?
A Turkish skydiver fell into a lake and died on Sunday after the strings of his main parachute enredasen with the parts under the International Aviation Festival . I was 22 and was called Mehmet Yildiz . The rescue boat ran out of gas on his way to reach Yildiz , who could not swim.
He may have been able to swim but his air-inflated harness was a death trap in the water. It held him under. If he'd been on a hang glider instead of a paraglider, he'd have been able to fly through turbulence and land on the shore, no problem.
See what happens to a guy who thinks a parachute is a "wing." Hang glider pilots know what a wing is. A wing is always a wing. It doesn't turn into laundry in normal atmospheric turbulence and try to kill you. ------------------- July 2016 Paraglider, family, responders recount rescue in the Flat Tops
By 11 a.m., he had hiked up to 11,00 feet and was assessing the conditions. “The wind was blowing 5 to 10 miles an hour, which is at the upper limit of safety, but it was pretty consistent and seemed like a good day to fly,” he recalled. This time, though, things didn’t go precisely as planned. “Pretty soon I realized I wasn’t making any headway. I didn’t want to land somewhere random, so I started making my way down,” he recalled. “The wing started to flap on me, which is a sign that you’re in unstable conditions. When I was about 75 or 100 feet off the ground, I looked up and more than half of my wing just nosedived above me… The next thing I knew I was on the ground.” He immediately realized that his right leg wouldn’t support his weight and he was fairly injured elsewhere. What he didn’t know at the time is that he had broken his hip, several vertebrae and had a contusion in his lung. “It was at that point I remembered that I had a water bottle with me and that was it,” he said. “I knew that no one would come for me until tomorrow at the best scenario, and I didn’t have a first aid kit or jacket or way to start a fire.”
Rick, in light of your original post ("What is it exactly that soaring parachutists learn from knowing hundreds of fellow fliers have died from unexpected collapses? Answer: Nothing") I read the article below with particular interest - especially the quote from Nick Greece:
"The U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) has asked Rob Sporrer to examine photographs taken at the scene and (pilot's name omitted out of respect for the deceased and family) track log to research the accident, which had no witnesses...The group’s Accident Review Committee, consisting of experts in the self-regulated field, sometimes issues reports that are collected in the magazine in the hope that “there’s something [we] can all learn from this,” said Greece."
Those exact statements were made one year previous when another PG pilot was killed at this very same site. Specifically WHAT is the "something" that they need to "learn from all this" that they obviously have not yet learned?
In the early 1970's hang gliders were not airworthy. Dozens of pilots plummeted out of the sky and were killed. The sport developed a bad reputation and suffered a precipitous drop in participants. Airworthiness standards were developed and the wings became stable and safe. We LEARNED. But to those of us who went through those dark days, it seems INCOMPREHENSIBLE that the paragliding community would allow their equivalent of a "luff dive" to continue unabated.
The "something" they need to learn is a fundamental premise that they are adamantly unwilling to admit, and thus are incapable of learning.
It's worse than you think, Rodger. The "full luff dive" was a symptom of faulty design that was quickly addressed with luff lines, reflex and defined tips, which all worked adequately to prevent high-speed dives and airfoil collapse. But paraglider collapse cannot be addressed because it is an inherent fault. It cannot be fixed. And they know this. They've known it for a long, long time. They're not just stupid. There is something else going on in their heads. We don't actually need to make it our problem. All we need to do is separate thrill-kill parachuting from hang gliding.
That's basically my stand on paragliders. They shouldn't be flown in the first place, so inadequately designed harnesses are irrelevant. These appear to me to be the cause of the two fatalities you refer to and are the second leading cause of paraglider fatalities. I'm amazed that they haven't fixed that one. But in my opinion, if they were actually interested in survival, they'd be flying full-time, real gliders instead of being obsessed with making excuses for the drawbacks of parachutes, like their creative potpourri of misleading "pilot error" scenarios.